It is never too early to help children learn how to pray and provide ways for them to make their prayer life strong and meaningful. Here are some ways to engage children in prayer.
When Jesus’s disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He gave them what we know today as “The Lord’s Prayer.” That prayer is a great model for teaching children how to pray. Don’t hesitate to change the wording to be more meaningful to children according to their age.
Our Father who is in Heaven: God in heaven, You are the Creator of everything.
Hallowed is Your Name: Your name is more powerful and holy than any other name. You are the only One who can answer my prayers.
Your Kingdom come: I know that someday Jesus will return and Your Kingdom will be on earth just like it is today in heaven—perfect.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven: Right now many people do not follow You and do not pray or believe Your Word. I pray that what You want for me and every person on earth will be done the same way everything is in heaven—the way You want it to be.
Give us this day our daily bread: God, I need You to take care of me. You know what I need. Give me a thankful heart for everything you provide.
And forgive us our sins: God, I know that sometimes I do things that do not please You. I am sorry for what I do that is wrong, and I ask You to forgive me.
As we forgive others: Sometimes other people do wrong things to me. Even if they have not asked me to forgive them, I ask You to help me forgive them.
And lead us not into temptation: Satan is always going to try to get me to disobey You, God. Show me when I am being tempted and give me Your strength to resist.
But deliver us from evil: Remind me, Lord, that in Your strength I don’t have to do what Satan tempts me to do.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever: God, everything belongs to You and only You. You are all powerful. You are perfect and Your heaven is perfect and will be forever. Someday I will be there with You.
You can easily build similar prayer models from Psalms 3, 51, 63, or 84.
Another way to help children learn to pray is to have them write out what they want to tell God in letter form. Give them a simple outline for their letter such as:
-Ask God's forgiveness
-Ask God for what you need
-Thank Him for hearing you
Today many children have cell phones, tablets and computers. You can help children set up daily timers on their electronics to help them remember to take time each day to pray.
One easy idea is to use two circles that have been cut out of posterboard. Section each circle into seven equal “pie pieces” with pencil or pen. On the top circle, cut out only one section of the pie shape. But do not cut all the way to the center! Leave space for a brad to be inserted in the middle. On the bottom disc, print a day of the week in each section, leaving space for children to write in what they want to pray for that day.
Turn the top disc over so the pencil or pen marks do not show. Put the two discs together and push the brad through the center then spread the brad ends out on the underneath side to hold the pieces other. As you turn the top disc you will see the opening reveal one day of the week and its prayer requests.
Prayer is VITAL in each child’s life! Use your creativity to help them embrace and personalize prayer.
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